Saturday, March 31, 2007

Sen. McCain Awards Green Cards to Mexican Mariachi Cover Band By Accident...Hay Papi!

Sen. John McCain, and his new favorite band, The Ramons..

Republican candidate for President, John McCain had a potentially embarrassing event occur this week, when his office used a band of illegal immigrants as an example for the Senator's amnesty( oops), we mean path to freedom program. As interesting as the story might be politically, the tale of The Ramons is just as interesting, and the brouhaha has enabled the group to book shows months in advance. One might think that a Mariachi band that only plays covers songs from a 70's -era New York punk band might not fly, but think again......

The Ramons illegally entered the US locked inside of a truck from Mexico in 1987. "We spent three days in that truck, and it had a broken cassette player with a Ramones tape stuck in it. That was all we listened to, and by the time we got to the US, we had all the songs memorized", said singer Jose Diaz Valenzuela de Ramon (Joey Ramon). "We figured that was what everyone in the United States listened to. " The world's only Punk-Mariachi band was born. "We heard the street on America were paved with gold. That wasn't true, but we make a good living." Said guitarist Delfina Solis de Ramon(Dee Dee Ramon). The other members are bassist Marco Montoya Cruz de Ramon (Marky Ramon), Violinist Tomassina Rivera Cruz de Ramon (Tommy Ramon), and trumpet player Juan Pablo Hernandez de Ramon (Johnny Ramon).

Since illegally entering the US, The Ramons have been an underground hit in McCain's home state of Arizona. When word of the band's plight reached the Senator, McCain saw it as an opportunity to promote his amnesty plan. 'This is precisely what we are trying to do. These people are hard-working ciitzens, and they deserve a shot at citizenship." However, an investigation revealed that the quintet has collected approximately $675,000 in free government services , without paying taxes. When asked about it, McCain seemed more pale than usual. "OK, maybe not precisely what we're talking about."

Back to the band.... The Ramons incorporate the punk speed and chord progressions, but they keep it in a traditional Marichi style. Instead of counting off "1,2,3,4" they count off "Uno, Dos, Tres, Quattro". Other lyrical changes include "Hey, Ho - Vamanos" from Blitzkreig Bop, "Goya, Goya- Hey" in Teenage Lobotomy, and their hit "I Wanna Be Patriated".

Illegals or not, the Ramons are taking advantage of their 15 minutes of fame. "We are booked all over the Southwest until September", said their manager, Swifty Lopez. "We played the Whisky-a-Go-Go last week. It didn't go too good. I guess they got us mixed up with The Ramones." Two members of The Ramones have been dead since the early part of the decade. Lopez remained undaunted. "Hey, if they send us back, we'll get over again. I can see it now - The Ramons Reunion Tour !! We'll clean up bigtime."

SC GOP Turns to Telemarketers.... Just What Everyone Loves... NOT!

With all of the focus on raising money, it looks as though our State Party hs decided to employ some pros to shake the last quarter out of our pockets. I had gotten calls with the ever-popular "Unknown ID" on it for about a week straight. So I finally answered it. Oops!
"Is this Mike?"
Uh, yeah.....
"I'm calling on behalf of the SC Republican Party. As you know, we're working hard to keep Hillary Clinton....."
At this point I stopped listening.
"Can you afford $75?"
By now, I'm cockily thinking to myself, "Don't you know who I am? I'm f***ing Mike Reino." Guess not. So I tell him, "Well, i'm going to the Silver Elephant Banquet, so that will be my donation this year." Actually, I may not go, because I'll be just getting back into the US from my trip that day.
"How about $50 ?"
It's starting to become a backwards auction - 75, 50, 25... can I get 25 ???
"Can you do $25?"
No, I'm gonna get back to work. Tell Katon I said hi..
All these solicitations from the 25 different Republican organizations that exist are starting to wear on me - the last thing we need are to get harrassed on the phone too. Guys, let's put an end to this ASAP.

It's Final Four Time! Who Gets a Pass to the Big Show? Look Below.

I had a pretty good Regional Final round, where I was 3-1 ( thanks to the Tar Heels' huge choke job), and I am 45-15 overall. Not bad. Enough gloating, let's go to the games......
Any of these four teams could take it all. There is no one single guy to clamp down on, and for each reason I have to pick one team, there is a reason to pick the other. But I gotta choose two, so here we go.
Ohio State vs. Georgetown. I like how Georgetown matches up sizewise and their ability to spread the ball around. Ohio State has a couple freshmen, but they are SOME freshmen. They also have a couple Senior leaders who have refused to let this team lose. There are no weak teams here, but Georgetown is the weakest, and I still have trouble believing North Carolina forgot how to shoot. Ohio State 78-73.
Florida vs. UCLA. Ah, the rematch of last year's Championship game. I might have had a hard time picking a winner, but I have two points driving me. Florida has talent, they play good D, and they spread the ball out well. But UCLA plays defense like no team I have seen in the tourney, and I don't see Florida keeping up with it. In short, they are a little slower, and the tunrovers will come. Also, revenge is a great motivator, and losing the Championship is pretty good motivation. UCLA 68-66.
Play Ball !!!!

Friday, March 30, 2007

What I Learned From the Kennedy's...... AKA, Why I Will Not Run For VP.

Metaphors in Politics... The Car Is The Big Political Machine, and I am Myself... Where the heck is the Radiator on this thing????
By the way, that's my new car. I quit politics, and all of a sudden, I have extra cash.. Thanks to my buddy Earl, I made the SC Hotline news clips Friday - when all the major announcements happen. The strong undercurrent to recruit me (and former Senator Thompson) to lead the GOP ticket in '08 is gaining momentum. Unfortunately, I will have to pass. There are far too many BMW customers in Florence that depend on me to take the keys on their cars and fight with the technicians on their behalf to leave them now.
I understand, having me on the ticket give the Presidential candidate a lot of pluses. Next to me, any candidate looks smart, worldwise, and not so wimpy.. I have that far away, Dan Quayle, do-you-see-what-I-see look in my eyes. Also - chicks dig me, especially grandma's and African-American women (Carlton is more popular than you think!). Gay guys love me - I mean REALLY love me. I am a true fagnet *. I have the mix of Northeastern , cut thru the BS realism, combined with Southern Conservative values. But , alas, I know my true destiny is not in politics....
Like the saying goes, "Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it". I am a student of history, and I see the Reino name's parallel with another political name - Kennedy.
Forget so soon? May I use three words to remind you.......Snoop for President. My poor lab mutt had the potential to be this generation's JFK. Instead of Camelot, we were going to call it Shed-a Lot, due to his proclivity for making furballs around the house. Yet a mere four months after announcing, Snoop died under odd circumstances. I have Oliver Stone and Rosie O'Donnell working on it as we speak. I can't help but see the similarities - maybe I'm not Bobby to Snoop's JFK, but I am at least Teddy! That is embarrassing enough. Therefore, I do not ask for, and I will not accept my party's nomination for Vice President.
However, I will still accept any cushy Commission job still out there... Anyone get that DOT or DHEC job yet? Mark? You there?
* - Fagnet. A combination of two words, it is a term used for a straight male that naturally and unintentionally attracts Gay Men. Patent Pending on the term, 2007 - US Patent Office.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

SC6 Notice to Everyone.......... Stop Trying to Get a Passport, 'Cause You're Slowing Mine Down, Dammit!!

Quit Rubbing it in, Kid !!

What does this kid have that I don't? Aside from being cute as a button, even she has a passport!! Meanwhile, I'm still waiting on mine, and the news didn't get any better today...

I'm pretty much ready for one of my New Year's resolutions - travelling internationally. That is, aside from having the one piece of paper necessary to leave the US. If you have never applied for a passport, I'll tell you about the nightmare I've had.

I never thought I would ever travel outside of the United States, but never say never.. Well, the United States government , in it's infinite wisdom, deems which document as the most important to confirm your identity? YOUR BIRTH CERTIFICATE !!!! I'm 38 frickin' years old ! The last time I saw my birth certificate was when I was 16, and I doctored it to let me play hockey. So, how do I get a copy? I have to get a copy from that bastion of courtesy - New York.

I called the hospital I was born in first, and they explained that all the records are at the Township Hall, and they even had the phone number - so far, so good. Then the progress hit the skids...... The town has one person who handles birth records, and she proceeded to use 10 sick days before finally coming back to work. Before you ask - Yes, she's in a Union.

She got back to work, and did send it off to me pretty quickly. By the way, I found out that I was born at a different time than my parents told me - and that the milkman is NOT my Dad! I bolted to the Post Office asap to get it in the hopper. After waiting 25 minutes for her to return from lunch, I gave her the pictures, birth certificate, $97 , driver license, completed application stating where and when I am going, my last 3 bank statements, NRA card, a bottle of Red Bull that she made me get, and a pack of Lucky's.....Then she said, "OK, it'll come in 6-8 weeks". UH........WHAT?

After clasping my jaw back on and realizing that I just pooped a brick, I checked the calendar. I should have about two weeks to spare before I go. Then came today's news....... The State Department said that passports are taking an extra TWO WEEKS to arrive. Why? It seems that since they are requiring that you need a passport to go to Canada and Mexico, the volume is unexpectedly high. So, my application is jammed in with 12 million aliens trying to get home, and ... do people go to Canada?

Five and a half weeks before I go overseas, and I have no idea when this damned thing is coming. Any tips? Maybe I should call my Congressman. Nevermind...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Who's Going to the Final Four?? Read Below For My Picks.....

Well, I made a nice comeback in Round 3 this week. I went 6-2, and for 32 minutes I looked like a genius for picking Southern Cal over the Tar Heels. Moye must have been having a heart attack in that one. That makes me a pretty sharp 42-14 overall (75%). If only my success rate with the women was as good!

This weekend, the winners get to cut some nets, and go onto whereever the Final Four is. I don't have tickets, so why should I know. Since there are only 4 picks, I'll tell you who i'm picking and why........

Midwest Region:

Oregon has played pretty well getting, but they are small, small, small !! Their backcourt is 6'0 and 5'6 - and Florida isn't just taller, they are more talented. Put Noah 15 feet out with his arms up, and they'll never see the rim. Florida, 77-66.

West Region:

Kansas and UCLA could be nice. UCLA has played all their games in California, but they haven't dominated like they're at home. Kansas is probably the weakest of the No. 1's, but they're here. The Bruins have a good mix of shooters, and they're still in Cali, so I'll take 'em. UCLA 64-62.

South Region:

Memphis has won 25 in a row, Ohio State has won 20 in a row - something's gotta give... The Buckeyes have gotten here despite Greg Oden not really lighting it up. Oden will be the difference. they are the better team in the better conference, and most of the games are playing out that way this year. Ohio State, 70-63.

East Region:

A rematch of the '82 Championship game. Both teams had tough games last time out, but North Carolina had a gear that Georgetown doesn't. They are deeper, and they have more scorers, led by Tyler Hansborough, who was invisible last game. If Roy Hibbert gets in foul trouble again, the Hoyas are in big trouble, so expect the Hoyas to be in big trouble. North Carolina, 76-61.

Friday, March 23, 2007

AMERICAN M-IDOL: The House Democrats' Time of the Month on Iraq...

Nancy, Steny and Jim : Staging Tryouts for a Clear Policy
YOU 'DA MAN, DOG !!!!!
In all of the anticlimactic drama of today's House vote on the Iraq funding bill, one must take a look not so much as the passage of the bill, but HOW they got that point, and how much the Democrats have lost their credibility for the foreseeable future. We all know the Senate will likely not be able to pass this mess, and if they somehow do, President Bush will kick it back with Gusto. The symptoms involved with how this bill got to the 218-212 vote leave me with one thought........... the Democrats are obviously having their period.
Let's look at the symptoms.....
There sure seems to be a lot of cranky Dems - aren't they usually the Shiny , Happy People? This bill left a ton of unhappy peaceniks grumpy afterwards.... I will give some props to the Dems who at least stood on principle, ignored their leadership's attempted bribery, and voted against this mess. It's not often I say, "Dennis Kucinich and Maxine Waters did the right thing", but heck, if I can agree with Cynthia McKinney once, I can do the same with them.
Weight Gain:
How did a $98 Million request turn into a $122 Bill? Simple.......PORK. Yes, fiscal responsibility is not just a problem for our budgetary-challenged Republicans (Michael, that is me criticizing the GOP). This bill was supposed to have been voted on about two weeks ago, when I wrote my "Clyburn's Big Test" post (which The State Hijacked), but when you don't have the votes, you call timeout, and you bribe your members with The Other White Meat until you can count to 217. Sorry, but peanut farmers and milk cows have nothing to do with the War on Terror.
Bloated Ego's, that is........ It's okay to be principled and lose everywhere in the world - with the exception of Washington DC, that is..... Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and Jim Clyburn took a bill that might have had allowed them to say, "We are Democrats, and here is where most of us stand." They would have lost, and they might have some definition. Instead , they proved them to be politicians and nothing else. They bribed Blue Dogs, and armtwisted the left kook fringe into talking other Dems into voting on a bill they don't believe in. Nice job, gang!
Gross, I know, but we're talking about reality here, correct? Pelosi has her "Big Win", but at what cost? Her caucus is a bloody mess, broken into three factions. All that unity last year seems to have been an illusion, as the three groups have a big power grab. Kucinich was on Fox last night, and he was not a happy camper, but at least he still has his beliefs. Where the GOP leadership got tagged as a rubber stamp for President Bush, at least they have been consistent whether the majority or minority. The Dems are a soulless, heartless hodgepodge of powerhungry narcissists that care less about useful legislation, and more about winning.......... except in Iraq, of course. Damn, that was pretty good!
Blood will apply on a palpable level too. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has said that April 15th is the cutoff date for Congress to get its act together, and pass the funding. That is 3 weeks away. In that time, the Senate has to pass it's own bill, then the House and Senate have to reconcile the two bills, then send it to President Bush - where it will be vetoed with impugnity. Then it starts all over again. But like Gary McLeod says, I don't know crap about how DC works. Come April 15th, supplies will be shortchanged, troops will be less than fully equipped, and some of them will die. And you can blame Pelosi, Hoyer and Clyburn for wasting precious weeks passing a bill doomed for a veto. But hey, they got their 'Big Win'. That and a dollar will get you a Biggie Fries at Wendy's.
I imagine Paula, Randy and Simon giving this trio some pretty bad reviews - well maybe not Paula, she likes everybody. My advice is to break out the Tylenol, Motrin, Pamprin, or my favorite - American M-idol. That reminds me.... I'm feeling a bit crampy today..... Shut up!! .....I'm sorry, I love you.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Holy Smokey!! No More 'Special Finish' at the Bo Bo Spa in Marion .........

A moment of silence....... Those killjoys over in the Marion County Sheriff's Office went on a sting at the Bo Bo Spa , and busted everyone. Included in closing the place was confiscating a boatload of alcohol...... sorry , Earl. I know how much wasting alcohol bothers you.

So, we say goodbye to all we'll miss.......... The Special Finish, the Basket Trick, and the Dirty Zhangzhez. Me love you long time..

Think It's Bad in South Carolina? Try Living in Michigan.

Time to focus on the grass being greener in our own yard. Maybe Governor Sanford wasn't kidding about all those people coming from Michigan in the U-Hauls...... If you look around a bit, you'll see signs of the decline of the Land of the Wolverines.
As the auto industry hits the skids in Detroit, there are signs that an all-out jailbreak is in process. Thousands of foreclosures are going on all across the state. If you can hold onto them for awhile, you might turn a good profit. Word is that properties are going for one-fourth the prices asked just a couple years ago.
But, what is the most obvious sign that a place is going down the crapper? Websites to find women. Yes, along with women from The Phillippines, Vietnam, Russia, and the Dominican Republic, there is a website featuring women from Michigan!! Like they can't escape to Ohio or Indiana...Guys, just get your passport ready - a girl from Michigan is waiting for you. Just learn the language and the culture, and pick your woman.
Today, I had a customer who recently moved here from there, and I asked her, "Is it really as bad in Michigan as they say it is?" Her embarrassed , one-word answer? "Yes".
Maybe they'll make a comeback and turn the state into a winner again. Maybe they'll stop allowing the unions to run the state, and make it more competitive. Maybe they''l have someone aside from "Dumb and Dumber" star Jeff Daniels to do the commercials for doing business in their state. Good luck, fellas !!

John Edwards Announcement: Being Forthcoming, or Pumping Up a Juiceless Campaign?

I got a chance to watch the Edwards' press conference in Chapel Hill today over a turkey sandwich at lunch. As the speculation built up, one wondered what the announcement actually was. Sure, I heard that Mrs. Edwards had breast cancer, but it didn't matter to me in 2004, and it doesn't really matter now. Why? It's none of my business. It is a personal matter for Edwards and his wife, and it's really how it should have been handled.
The volleying back and forth between the left and right about Edwards not mentioning his wife's cancer before, and today's announcement left me perplexed. Sure, we might try to slant events a certain way, but on some things we shouldn't. There is no doubt that Edwards' campaign lacks the gravitas that he had steamrolling in 2004. He came out from the pack, and made the campaign a bit more interesting. Now he is a known commodity - for better or worse. This is quickly turning into a Hillary - Obama race, and Edwards is the third wheel. He is the little brother that you drag to a date with your girlfriend.
Is this being an honest politician? I suppose so. But, is this using a personal struggle to attempt to gain lost ground? Maybe it is, but here is the most important part.... It looks that way, and the way it looks is the way it is. Edwards may have thought it to be a good idea, but it could hurt him in the long run.

Quick Post: My Sweet 16 Picks......

I'm on Lunch Break right now, so here are my picks.......
East Region:
Southern Cal over North Carolina
Georgetown over Vanderbilt
South Region:
Ohio State over Tennessee
Memphis over Texas A&M
Midwest Region:
Florida over Butler
Oregon over UNLV
West Region:
Kansas over Southern Illinois
Pittsburgh over UCLA
Just a couple minor upsets, but we're at the point where any one team can beat any other team. It should be good...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

High Electric Bills? Zinc Mines?... SC6 Unravels Al Gore's Newest Personal Threat to Global Warming.........

Rotund Ex-VP's Weight Has Caused EPA to Rate Him a 'Methane Time-Bomb'...

Since the release of his Global Warming epic, "An Incovenient Truth", there have been several attacks on Gore's perceived hypocrisy regarding the environment: Among them, that Gore's Tennessee mansion uses 22 times more electricity than the average home, then his ownership of a zinc mine , which primarily is a strip mine. These pale in comparison to the latest revelation regarding Gore's own threat to the environment - his ever increasing weight has forced the EPA to label him an environmental time-bomb...

The bloated former Vice-President has gotten so overweight that both scientists and treehuggers agree that it is impossible for Gore to keep the noxious gases inside his body, thus producing massive amounts of toxic Methane. Noted climatologist Uli Schroder put it in the simplest terms: " All of life is solid, liquid, and gas. Judging by his extreme weight gain since leaving office, i'd say he's eating something pretty spicy and fatty - and that gas has to get out someway." Greenpeace spokesperson Soleil Wasserman lamented, "Al's obviously not eating veggies and tofu. I wish I could get him to a commune in Oregon.....I think I could really help him. Meat is murder, and it looks like Al's killing himself."

Let's take a step back. Below are two pictures: one from Gore when he served in DC, and the other from a recent speech....

We asked body mass experts to estimate Gore's weight in each picture. Our Blue Ribbon panel estimated his weight in the first picture was 180 pounds, and 240 pounds in the right. That is a 33% gain in 6 years, or 5.5% annually. At the current rate of inflation, Gore will weigh 320 pounds by the 2012 Elections, 440 pounds by the time the Social Security Trust Fund starts paying out more than it takes in, and when the Kennedy Assassination tapes are released, Gore will weigh about 800 pounds - almost the exact weight of the feral pig caught in Georgia known as "Hogzilla".
We asked Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke the effects Gore's expansion may have on the economy - food shortages, inflation, poor consumer confidence, as well as any environmental impacts. "Are you freakin' kidding me? Who let you in here?", asked Bernanke. We didn't wait for an answer. We'll just assume that he views his weight gain as hyperinflation, and that a rate of consumption cut is in order....
A strange trend that we've noticed is as Gore gets heavier, his extremism increases. Many people worry that if Gore gets any fatter, he may call for the outlawing of Oil. While no cause has been pegged, one can only assume that Gore took a trip to Vermont, ended up at the Ben & Jerry's plant - and the rest is history. A company that sells 1400 calorie ice cream under the guise of being "environmentally friendly" can hoodwink anyone, I suppose.
While Gore continues to look more and more like the Blueberry Girl from Willy Wonka, America grows periously closer to a Carbon Dioxide meltdown. Even Granolaheads will eventually leave Gore. Unless someone peeks around his dungpile, and finds some 'shrooms.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Crank Up the Freddie Mercury and Queen...... Oswego State Wins a Cheesy Trophy and the Title !!

We did it! My alma mater's hockey team took the Division III title tonight , with a 4-3 overtime win over defending champ Middlebury College of Vermont. To give an idea of the magnitude of the win, Middlebury was looking for it's 4th straight D-III title, and an amazing 9th in the last 13 years........ but the Lakers would not be denied.
Garren Reisweber stole the puck along the right boards, and with a full head of steam, got around Middlebury's defenseman and cut left , avoiding the goaltender, and shot the puck into the wide open net......... and pandemonium ensued.
Middlebury threw everything they had, but goalie Ryan Scott stopped 45 shots, including all 17 directed at him in the scoreless first period. In addition to the game-winner, Reisweber also scored Oswego's second goal in the second period.
The nice part about Division III is that the athletes are talented, but they aren't on scholarship, and they realize that they likely will not turn professional either, so for most of them, college will be their final time playing. They are true student-athletes, and now my school has a piece of hardware to put in it's trophy room for the first time ever....

One More To Go, Baby! Oswego State Makes the Div. III Hockey Finals !!

My Oswego State Lakers will face Middlebury College today in the Division III Hockey finals, after beating St. Norbert College 4-3 in overtime yesterday in Superior, Wis. After trailing 3-2 in the third period, the Lakers came back, and then Ryan Woodward scored in traffic 3:51 in the extra period, enabling Oswego to reach it's third championship game ever. It lost in the finals in 1987 and 2003.
The comeback win against St. Norbert was a rarity. St. Norbert was 255-1-7 in it's previous 263 games where it led going into the third period. That is more automatic than Mariano Rivera, or a Democrat voting for a tax increase... GO LAKERS !!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

My Foolproof System at Picking Winners?? Don't Watch Basketball All Year.....

Dick Vitale, eat your heart out! I went an amazing 27-5 on my college picks in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. My secret? Pick the teams that were good 20 years ago. You see, these things are cyclical. My one weak spot? The 7-10 games.... I went 1-3 in those, but I did pick the Duke upset, and Winthrop beating Notre Dame, which wasn't a big surprise to me. How you get ranked in the Top 25 and only make an 11 seed is a mystery to me. Another secret? The Colonial conference almost always pulls an upset. VCU, George Mason, and Richmond - this goes back 20 years now. Now, on to Round 2, which will be a lot tougher....
East Region:
North Carolina over Michigan State
Texas over USC
Washington State over Vanderbilt
Georgetown over Boston College
all the seeds hold....
South Region:
Ohio State over Xavier
Tennessee over Virginia
Louisville over Texas A&M
Memphis over Nevada
Midwest Region:
Florida over Purdue
Maryland over Butler
Winthrop over Oregon
Wisconsin over UNLV
Winthrop is this year's Cinderella....for now.
West Region:
Kansas over Kentucky
Virginia Tech over Southern Illinois
Pitt over VCU
UCLA over Indiana
VCU got beat up in the win vs. Duke - the tank is empty.
There they are.... happy picking!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

While You Sweat Out Your Team in the Tournament, My School Is Already in the Final Four.....

Congratulations to my Alma Mater's hockey team at the State University of New York at Oswego. They beat Norwich University 3-0, to advance to the NCAA Division III Final Four. By the way, the seats they show in the picture didn't exist when I was there. We had a wooden bench and no heat, but the old place had character. It was so windy there, they put up ropes between the buildings so you didn't blow away........ and it snowed every month except August........... and we had to walk uphill BOTH WAYS!! But the Taco Bell there loads 'em up like no place else, and Molson bottles were $12 a case!

The Lakers will face St. Norbert College (Don't ask, I have NO IDEA) for the chance to play in the finals Sunday in Superior, Wisconsin.... where the men are men, and they love the cheese. This is a big deal for Oswego. All we make are schoolteachers, weathermen, and hockey players. We don't have a football team, our basketball team is pretty bad, and our baseball team plays in snowshoes. Hockey is all we have....


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I Know You've Been Waiting for Them.....It's My NCAA Tourney Picks !!

Honestly, I have paid NO attention to College Basketball this year. When the best players stay only for a year, I stop watching. But, March Madness is different, so I'll return to my fair weather fan status for a few weeks. That being said, this blog implies no guarantees of success in it's selections. Any money lost using these picks are not the responsibility of the blog.

East Bracket:
North Carolina over Eastern Kentucky
Michigan State over Marquette
Southern Cal over Arkansas
Texas over New Mexico State
Vanderbilt over George Washington
Washington State over Oral Roberts
Texas Tech over Boston College
Georgetown over Belmont

South Bracket:
Ohio State over Central Connecticut St.
Xavier over BYU
Tennessee over Long Beach State
Virginia over Albany
Louisville over Stanford
Texas A&M over Penn
Creighton over Nevada
Memphis over North Texas State

Midwest Bracket:
Florida over Jackson State
Arizona over Purdue
Butler over Old Dominion
Maryland over Davidson
Winthrop over Notre Dame
Oregon over Miami (Ohio)
Georgia Tech over UNLV
Wisconsin over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (no, they really exist)

West Bracket:
Kansas over Niagara
Kentucky over Villanova
Va Tech over Illinois
Southern Illinois over Holy Cross
Va. Commonwealth over Duke
Pitt over Wright State
Gonzaga over Indiana
UCLA over Weber State

Yep, Duke is one and done, and the 5-12 jinx ends this year as well.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Upcoming Iraq Spending Bill: Clyburn's First Big Test as Whip...

OK, I'm getting a little jealous of everyone getting on SC Hotline except me. Therefore, I will throw my partisan hat away for a post and discuss a topic without a slanted view. Mike Green, this one is for you, buddy!
This week, the first shots of the new spending bill for the War on Terror begin this week. After weeks of wrangling, the Democratic leadership will have a test vote in the House Appropriations Committee, and a vote in the full House is expected next week. In a tightly contested house, the Democrats have a tricky balancing act to keep Liberals, who feel the bill does not go far enough, and Blue Dogs, who feel it goes too far, from voting against it. In the words of House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, "We're going to be whipping and counting votes, and I think we're going to get the votes." When you use the specific term 'whipping', you are referring to one person - your Majority Whip. This will be the first big challenge to Jim Clyburn to keep his party in line, and it will be needed to fight off a seemingly united Republican Party.
Up to this vote, the legislation presented by the Democrats have been pretty simple and populist. Clyburn has had a pretty easy time currying up positive results to this point. It all ends here. This is not a bill where everyone is in agreement, except on the other side of the aisle, where the GOP is solidly against any type of bill that 1) Gives any impression that the insurgency can wait the forces in Iraq out. 2) Will hamper President Bush and Gen Petraeus' ability to win the war. Jim sure has his work cut out. The bill is getting more and more different every day to attract more votes, but with it, it becomes less what the Democrats really want.
Already, the Democratic leadership has modified the bill to exclude requiring the President to get congressional approval for any moves against Iran, a major threat to Israel. They also dropped language that would discontinue funding after the Fall of 2008, a move that may cost votes from the more liberal members of Congress. When you try to cast a net that is only so wide, there is a tendency to lose a few fish when you throw it out. There are an unknown number of Democrats who will not vote for the bill. If it gets to 15 or 20, then Clyburn will not win this one. There is a long list of legislation that failed due to the majority not being able to keep their side together - Universal Health Care, Social Security Reform. This is not a slam-dunk issue, and Clyburn's reputation in The Loop as a unifier will be put to it toughest test yet.
Whether this bill was created by Nancy Pelosi, Liberal Democrats or even Clyburn himself, a 900 pound gorilla has been dropped in his lap only 60 days into his term. If he loses, his reputation will be tarnished. Don't believe me? Ask Hillary Clinton if Health Care still drags her down. However, if Clyburn pulls this off, his stock will rise as the man who addressed the tug-of-war involving a not-so-popular bill, and got it passed. Which way will it go? Stay tuned........
My head hurts from all this non-partisanism...........

Monday, March 12, 2007

Holy Frau Blucher !! GOP Caucus makes Whinny Noises at Mention of Pelosi's Name....

Good Night, Frau Pelosi........ BLUCHER !!
A chance showing of a classic Mel Brooks movie has created a contraversial habit among the House GOP Caucus: the making of horse whinnying sounds at the mere mention of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's name. The House Democratic leadership are up in arms.....
It all began a few weeks ago at a private Republican Caucus meeting. Morale was so low, that one of the members brought a copy of Young Frankenstein to cheer the group up. And so it began. " We were discussing the origin of "Blucher", and someone said "It means Pelosi", and it just took off from there." For those of you wondering, 'Blucher' does not mean glue in any language.
On the House floor, members will do the whinny at the mention of any of the following: Nancy Pelosi, Mrs. Pelosi, Ms. Pelosi, Madame Speaker, Miss Speaker, The Honorable Lady from California, and Hot Pants. Reportedly, one member asked Ms. Pelosi in the House Commissary "What type of Feed Bag are ya having today, Mrs. Ed?" And it has started to distract certain members of the House. Said a member on the condition of anonymity, " This is getting ridiculous. It sounds like a damned farm or a racetrack down there. I can't even think straight." Said another, "It is a bit disconcerting...... I was making a speech last week, and I accidentally called the Speaker Madame Blucher."
While the House of Representatives has rules regarding proper decorum, there is no rule specifically against making animal noises, so the whinnying will continue until it gets old..........or they grow up. Worse yet, it could spread to others. Said one GOP member, "We're gonna get Clyburn next.... I just got a copy of Blazing Saddles."

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Meeting a Real Hero........ Florence's Wesley "Camp" Ross.

The word "hero" is thrown around a lot. While everyone is allowed to name anyone their hero, there are very few people who can universally be regarded as a hero. I got to meet one this week at work. His name is Wesley C. Ross Jr., but everyone calls him Camp.
Camp Ross went to South Florence High, and joined the Marine Corps afterwards. While stationed in Iraq in the War on Terror, his unit was hit by an IED, and he was severly wounded. He had severe head injuries, and many of his doctors didn't think he would live. While at Walter Reed, President Bush came to visit, and Camp's dad went to the President and told him that he needed to visit his son. George Bush did so immediately. Everyone in Florence knows this story...
Well, Camp recovered from his injuries and lives in Florence still. On Tuesday, he ended up at my dealership with a recall on his truck , and it took me a minute or two to realize who he was. After taking care of the work, I asked Camp how he was doing, and I told him that I appreciated what he has done for our country. Maybe he had heard it a lot, maybe not, but I could see that it made him feel good to hear it. That's all they ask for..
I've said this before, and I'll say it again.. If you see a soldier, tell him/her thanks. That, and pick your heroes carefully. They're a lot closer than you might think.

SC6 on the Road......... Dinner on the Vista.

In all the hustle of the last few weeks, I finally got to go out last night - not that I had the time. After finishing up at 6PM Friday ( 30 minutes later that I should), I hopped in my car and went to visit my Cousin Johnny from Pennsylvania. His son Christopher is graduating from Fort Jackson this week, then it's onto Army Ranger School at Fort Benning. Chris was the scrawny kid who would jump off the roof of your house if you dared him. Some things never change.
I picked up John at the La Quinta on Garners Ferry, so rather than take him to Shoney's , I decided to take him to The Vista. After a couple of stops where the wait was an hour, we ended up at The Liberty Bar and Grill. I'm not sure if it's the same one as Myrtle Beach's, but the menu was much different.
Like the typical Columbia bar, there were plenty of Navy Blazered/Khaki Pants/Blue Pinstripe Shirt-wearing, Frat/Statehouse Page guys there. At the bar during the wait, I had a Samuel Adams White Ale - yummy! Too bad it's seasonal.....
On to dinner. I got the Crab Dip with about 100 bread squares to dip into it. For the main course, I had the Congressional Chicken (ironic, right?). It was kind of like Marsala, but not so gravy-like, and they roasted the chicken in something pretty spicy, but it was excellent. Of course, by the time I was done, it was almost 1100PM. I dropped Johnny back at the hotel, got back to Flotown by midnight, and got up at 600am to work again. Today was a blur.....
After not seeing Johnny for about 7 years, it would've been nice to stay longer, but that's how it goes. The bar is a bit loud, but the food was great. Liberty Bar & Grill - I recommend it.

Part II of My Venomous Hatred: Unions to Pressure Dems to Move Convention from Denver?

You see, the odd part about my blog is that I don't make this crap up. This is a true reporting of things that actually happen, with my opinion of it, and a bit of sarcastic logic added for fun. If the truth is a bit ugly at times, so be it. The posts that I make up are usually pretty obvious...... No, Jim and I aren't going to play golf together, but I would if he was up for it.

On to the latest.. According to an AP article, the AFL-CIO is considering asking the Democratic Party to move the 2008 Convention out of Denver. Why? It seems that the Colorado legislature passed a bill similar to the one passed this week by Congress, that would make it easier for unions to organize, only to have it vetoed by Governor Bill Ritter, a Democrat.

An unsigned letter by the union's Executive Council said "Union members will make up more than a quarter of the delegates to the Denver convention. Unless we can be assured that the governor will support our values and priorities, we will strongly ask the Democratic Party to relocate the convention". Sounds like a threat to me...

This isn't the first time Unions have given this convention grief. denver almost lost it's bid when the leader of the stagehands union refused to not strike if the convention were held at the Pepsi Center, which is a non-union facility. Of course the union got it's way, and demanded that all the workers at the convention be union employees. Sounds like that building in Philadelphia , where hundreds of inoperable toilets were installed to satisfy the plumbers union - your tax dollars at work.

Now, with all the screaming going on last year during the elections about what was wrong with America, do any of you remember hearing even once that we need more Unions. For all the talk about last November being a mandate on Iraq, the Union cash seems to be getting a damned good spot in line. When legislation like this is being passed on both the state and federal levels, you can guarantee that there is a big push behind it. Let me cement a thought in your head, and always keep it in mind: With very few exceptions, every politician has been bought and corrupted. Democrat and Republican. If you think otherwise, you are an idealistic fool - like I once was.

Why the big push now? Because, slowly, unions are going the way of the Betamax, 8-Track Player and that Woodpecker in Sparkleberry Swamp. Like a country with a low birth rate and increasing death rate, they are slowly going away. They are on a 60 year decline, with the exception of the public sector. Those brilliant institutions that brought you failing schools, earmarked pork, and inefficiency. It is their last stronghold, and this is their last ditch effort to increase the union payrolls. Here's a good illustration to .... uh.... illustrate it.

Sorry, sometimes the truth about politics doesn't fit nicely onto a bumper sticker, like "Bush Lied, Soldiers Died" . There are a lot of shady deals, and the money controls the priorities. Lots of pigs, not enough tits.......

Monday, March 05, 2007

While You Were Sleeping Thru C-SPAN: House Dems Pass Bill for Their Union Backers...

Yep, they're a great bunch of guys, those Union folks. They take your hard earned dues, give it to the Mafia, and then take the rest and waste it on politicians in Washington. Most of them are Democrats. Don't believe it ? Go the FEC website and check it out. They are one of the most liberal PAC's out there. And now they are first in line for the Democrats to make their first political move......... making it easier to get Unions in Right-to-Work states.
Up until now, the Democratic agenda has been a game of Men Without Hats, aka the Safety Dance. Nice, safe , popular, poll-driven votes that make them look like the good guys. Well, that seems to be coming to an end, and the pigs are lining up at the Democrat teets now. Would you expect anyone else to be first in line?
So what did they pass? A bill aimed at making it easier to allow Unions in Non-Union states....... Know any offhand? Included in that is a requirement to end anonymous ballot box votes. Nice. Ok, Fred, raise your hand so that we'll know that you don't want to be in OUR union, and we'll threaten and harass the crap out of you until you do. Sounds like the old Post-Reconstruction laws where a black person had to appear in court to press charges against the Klan. They usually ended up dead. Guess it's okay in this case - one less non-union worker, right?
Mark it on your calendar. This was the week that the Democrats went off track and started rewarding their paymasters. Unions across America are laughting their asses off at us now. Unfortunately, another Men Without Hats song may apply as well....... Pop Goes the World.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Reino Challenges Clyburn to Golf Match for Issues, Charity......

Mike Reino, political pundit and self-proclaimed Master of Highjinx, announced today that he is challenging House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn to a forum of political ideas and Golf. The purpose is to have a no-nonsense, informal setting to discuss the issues affecting the 6th Congressional district, and to possibly get Reino into a decent golf course, where his parking can be validated.

The idea came to Reino in the middle of the recent 102 he shot at Traces Golf Course in Florence. "We all know Cly loves to play golf, and he's supposed to be way better than me, so I thought a match where he should win easily would be attractive to him. Why not? The district is already handpicked for him." The 6th district is the only African - American majority district in the state, and according to Wikipedia, 'Clyburn has never has a real challenge for the seat." He has also been listed in Golf Digest as one of the top golfers on Capitol Hill.

There has been no comment from the Clyburn camp yet........

Reino meanwhile remains optimistic. "If Whipper will fly, i'll buy. Sure, I'm 28 years younger than him, but I haven't had the past 35 years to practice on the taxpayers dime. I was going to invite him and say that I was a lobbyist for the Transportation Association, but I figured I better do it honestly. I've always said Jimbo doesn't have a monopoly on good ideas. I've got some great plans to bring jobs to the District , and ease our use of fossil fuels in South Carolina, so if the Whipmaster really does care, he ought to take advantage of this free round."

And how does Reino plan on winning ? "Well, Jack Daniel's is sponsoring it, and we know how much Jim loves his Jack and Diet Cokes. My guess is by the 9th hole, he'll be too wasted to even tee off. If that fails, Chester the Mouse is gonna cut his hamstring in two - he'll quit the game."

Any backup plan? "Yeah. Put all the pin placements on the right side of the green, 'cause Jim has never been right, and has never gone right in his life, so I don't expect him to change now!!".